3 Tips for a Great Thanksgiving

3 Tips for a Great Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is just around the corner - can you believe it?  If you're hosting, going to someone else's house or just chilling with your immediate family at home, I've got 3 tips for you to make this a great Thanksgiving!

  1. Plan it out the cleaning ahead of time
The one thing that gets my anxiety up is making sure the house is clean and I have all of the menu timed with things taking their appropriate turn in the oven.  I mean what's Thanksgiving without having multiple dishes of delightful food to eat!  It all take a little planning, and thankfully you've got time!   What I do is create a spread in my journal with what needs to be cleaned and what needs to be cooked and who's helping with what task.  It's easy to get overwhelmed, but like they say, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.   

Even if I'm not hosting dinner at my house, I still like to have things cleaned so I'm not stressing about the dog hair or dust I see sitting around.  And it's supposed to be a relaxing day to enjoy with family, so I want to make sure I do the work ahead of time to allow for a clean, calm peaceful time.    Thankfully, I have a simple cleaner that I can hand to anyone in the family with the cleaning cloth, paper towels or mop and knock out those jobs pretty easily.  Non toxic, safe for kids and pets are important to me when it comes to cleaning!  Here's my sketch of what it will look like next week for us.  

  1. Plan out the cooking ahead of time
Now for the food, the great eating event..... The turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole (that only the adults seem to like), home made rolls and pumpkin pie.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.  😋  But I only have one oven and everything needs it's time, so I plan it out with a spread in my journal again.  Even down to making sure I take the turkey out of the freezer in time, because let's just say, I've learned the hard way that it takes WAY longer to thaw a frozen turkey than I think it should!  😂  Here's my sketch of how to make the great eating event happen this year... (not quite finished but started anyway)

It's kinda the whole point, right?  I have been using a gratitude log in my journal for some time now, I try to write down a few things everyday that I'm grateful for because when you spend some time reflecting on the good things each day, it makes a huge difference in your overall outlook on life.  If you haven't been doing that too, take some time to reflect over the last days, months, year and write down some things you are grateful for... the good moments, the things that sparked joy for you, the beautiful sunrise, someone holding the door open for you, the compliment someone gave you, your ability to help someone at the store get something off a shelf that they couldn't reach, the compliment you gave to someone, the ability you have to support your church or a school fundraiser... just write down anything that comes to mind.  

Here's some ideas to share the gratitude with those you are spending time with:
  1. write down something you're grateful for about each person and put it under their plate
  2. have a board or piece of card stock that everyone can write down what they are thankful for throughout the day
  3. have pen/paper available for everyone to write/draw something  for each person
  4. when you say grace before you eat, have everyone share something they are grateful for during the prayer
It's not happiness that brings gratitude.  Its gratitude that brings happiness.    
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.  
Once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for! 
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

I am grateful for being able to find a journal/planner/command central notebook that works for me to corral things like this into one place that I can easily reference at any point in time.  I am on a journey to help others find ways to simplify life and corral the things that are important to them into one place too.  I will be launching a mini course showing you how to do this too.  Join the waitlist for the mini course to get more details about it! Click here to join the waitlist!

I hope your Thanksgiving is full of love, gratitude and joy!

Boo... 5 Halloween tricks for you!

Boo... 5 Halloween tricks for you!
Halloween is so much fun!  Seeing all the kiddos dressed in their costumes and seeing their joy as they fill their bags with treats.  I have suggested we hand out toothbrushes or fruit and my family insists if we do that we will not be very popular in the neighborhood.  😂

I am a simple decorator, a wooden scare crow  and a few pumpkins is about all that happens on my front porch this time of year.  We like to carve a few sometimes and I hate how much work goes into the details just to have them rotting before Halloween night.  So I found this handy trick that keeps them looking good longer.  Just spray them with Thieves Household Cleaner on the cut edges and inside!  I mean who would have thought the cleaner I use daily could also keep my jack-o-lanterns fresh longer!  Well now you know my trick!

I like to simple decorations on the inside too but I also don't like pulling out a bunch of decorations only to have to put them away again in a few weeks.  I saw this bright idea of decorating my diffuser.  It sits out all the time, so why not make some cute cutouts out of paper and tape them on, turn the light onto orange mode and.....  Voila - inside the house decorated!  

Now if you want to get out a couple of things, like a black caldron from the dollar store, you can put the diffuser down inside of it (after you turn it on) and put a little bit of pulled apart cotton balls or some of that cobweb decoration material on the top of it to kind of hide the diffuser.  Voila, you've got that eerie feel to your space and you can set the mood with the oils you choose to diffuse!

Now once the little ones come home with their load of candy (and wrappers because they have eaten way too much while walking house to house) and start complaining of a tummy ache, be sure to have your monster tummy roller on the ready.   I actually use this quite often throughout the year when tummy aches show their ugly head.  I use 10 drops Digize and 7 drops peppermint in an empty roller and fill the rest with V6 Vegetable complex or the carrier oil of your choice.   Roll it on their belly and sometimes I warm up the heating pad to go along with it.  It  works wonders in our house.  

My last trick for you is for those littles who think there's a monster in the closet or under the bed or are just spooked by the costumes running around on Halloween night.  I like to make a Monster Spray (aka pillow spray for the adults) with an empty 2 oz spray bottle, add 15 drops lavender and 10 drops peace and calming, fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water, witch hazel or vodka.  Shake and spray on their pillows or around the room as "protection".  The lavender and peace and calming help to relax the mind and unwind when it's bedtime.  

So to sum it up here are my 5 oily Halloween tricks for you:

  1. Spray Thieves cleaner on inside of carved pumpkins
  2. Decorate your diffuser for a Halloween feel
  3. Put your diffuser in a caldron for that eerie feel
  4. Make a monster tummy roller for the "too much candy aches"
  5. Make a Monster spray for those who are spooked (or who are ready to wind down)
Just for fun, take my quiz to find out your modern sports mom cleaning style and find out what cleaning tricks you're missing out on!  

Click here to find out your cleaning style

3 ways to fill your home with the aromas of fall

3 ways to fill your home with the aromas of fall
Fall brings on the crisp and often foggy mornings, the beautiful gold, orange and red leaves falling from the trees creating a soft crunch under your feet, the squirrels scurrying around gathering their winter food supply, and the deer rutting in the woods.  

Fall offers us a time to renew our sense of smell with the aromas of apple pie, pumpkin pie, hot apple cider and hot chocolate.  The smell of campfires and smores in the crisp fall evenings.  A hike through the woods brings out the smell of the pines.  

Sometimes life is too busy to bake that pumpkin pie or make that apple cider to fill your home with that delicious smell.  Hopefully fall brings on some time to find a comfy chair, a blanket and book or journal and take some time to settle your mind.  

When you just want to enjoy the aroma of fall,  there are some easy ways to do that and customize it to your mood or activity!  

1.  Customize your cleaner to leave the surfaces clean and smelling like fall!  Grab a 16 oz spray bottle, 2 capfuls of Thieves Household Cleaner, 10 drops Orange, 5 drops Cinnamon, and 2 drops each of Clove, Nutmeg and Ginger Essential oils. and fill with water.  You can clean and make your house smell like fall in one fell swoop.

2.  Make a diffuser blend in an empty bottle so you can keep your diffuser going with the smells of fall as soon as you walk in the door!.  Grab an empty 15 ml essential oil bottle and add 40 drops Orange, 30 drops Cinnamon Bark, 10 drops each of Clove, Nutmeg and Ginger.  Put the lid on and give it a shake, fill your diffuser with water and add 3-5 drops of your blend! 

3.  Refill your foaming hand soap containers with a fall scent!  Grab an empty foaming hand soap container, add 2 Tbsp of unscented castile soap and 3 drops each of Cinnamon Bark, Nutmeg and Clove and 2 drops orange.  Your hands will thank you if you add 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil too!  Fill the remainder with water and shake to mix it up.  Now everyone can enjoy the fall scents when washing their hands.  

I am hosting a little gathering on October 23, 2021 to visit and make something for you to take home with you to spice up your home this fall. It's a free event and you can RSVP by clicking here.  You will get a copy of these recipes and a few more just by stopping by.  

I hope you soak up the beautiful colors, smells and sounds of fall this year.  Breathe deeply, write down something you're grateful for and shine your light brightly for others.  

Fall Cleaning Checklist for your Kitchen, Bathrooms and Laundry Room

Fall Cleaning Checklist for your Kitchen, Bathrooms and Laundry Room
Fall is here and the leaves are just beginning to change colors here in West Virginia.  I'm pulling my jeans and sweatshirts back out and putting up all the canning supplies for the year.  As I look around and know that we are going to be spending more time inside as the weather cools down, I started noticing some things on my cleaning to do list that may have fallen by the wayside for a little too long.  

Maybe that's you too, so I'm going to share my fall cleaning checklist with you in case it helps you remember to tackle a few of these sometimes forgotten cleaning tasks.  I'm going to break it down by area so that I can break it into manageable chunks of time.  

Laundry room - I do laundry everyday and I wipe out the lint filter on the dryer almost every load but it's time to really get the vacuum down in there and go outside and clean out the vent as well.  Lint build up can be a fire hazard, so it's really important to really clean it out at least once a year.  The use of fabric softener and dryer sheets will cause more lint build up as they leave a coating on the dryer vent pipes which attracts more lint to stick to it.  Try using distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle of your wash and wool dryer balls in the dryer as natural fabric softeners instead.  It's also a good time to vacuum and wipe down the walls and floors behind the washer and dryer while you're in there.  

If you don't run a clean cycle on your washer regularly, this would be a good time to do that and put a note in your calendar to do it once a month.  You can do this easily with 2-3 cups of vinegar in the drum or detergent dispenser on the hottest cycle on your machine.  Then you can run it again with 1/3- 1/2 cup baking soda in another cycle.  Don't use vinegar and baking soda in the same cycle as they will neutralize each other and you won't get the cleaning benefits of each of them.    

Kitchen - I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and feel like I clean it everyday, but one thing I don't get to that often is under the refrigerator.  We have pets that are inside a lot so I really need to make this more regular than once a year!  The dust and dirt build up under the fridge on the coils prevents the appliance from operating at it's optimal levels.  It's recommended to clean underneath at  least once a quarter.  Just use your vacuum and a coil brush you can get at most big box stores fairly inexpensively.  We actually got one for free when we had the APCO come out and do a free energy assessment where they recommended different things we could do to save on our electric bill.  Cleaning under the fridge was one of those things!  

I might wipe down the counters every day but I honestly don't wipe down the cabinets very often at all.  So that's going on my list as well.  A bucket of warm water with a few capfuls of Thieves Household Cleaner and a good microfiber cloth (like the Envirocloth from Norwex) will make this job quick and easy.  

Clean the dishwasher too!  Remove the drain screen if you have one and wash that by hand in the sink and return it.  Put a cup of vinegar in the top rack of the empty dishwasher and run it on a normal cycle.  Then put a cup of baking soda in the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run it on a short cycle.  Wipe down the seals/gasket with vinegar.  You should do this once per month to keep everything running well.  

Clean the oven - this is one thing I do not do often at all because I tried that cleaning cycle on the oven itself and just about died.  Ok not really but the stink was terrible because it was burning every bit of gunk in the oven and I still had to clean it out afterwards.  So this time, I'm going to mix together a tablespoon of Thieves Dish Soap, 1  1/2 cups baking soda, 1/4 cup vinegar, 20 drops of Lemon Essential Oil and enough water to make it a paste that I can paint on the inside of the oven.  Let it sit overnight and wipe it down with warm water in the morning.   That sounds like a better plan than choking out everyone in the house from the cleaning cycle.  

Bathrooms - The regular wipe downs occur but those drains.... ugh, I HATE clogged up drains.  If you get into a routine of regular maintenance with this simple concoction, it will help keep them clear and eliminate the clogs form happening in the first place.  So I'm going to add this to my weekly bathroom cleaning routine.  Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain first.  Then pour in a cup of baking soda.  Then pour in a 2 cup solution of equal parts water and vinegar (in other words a cup of each already mixed together).  Let that sit for 5-10 mins (while you clean the rest of the bathroom) and then pour another pot of boiling water down the drain.  

Another thing we are plagued with is mold forming on the faucets.  So I'm going to instill a regular routine of soaking them in vinegar by placing vinegar in a sandwich bag and putting a rubber band around it to hold it in place for 20-30 minutes.   Then use an old toothbrush to scrub away any remaining gunk after the bag is removed.  I have read that manganese and iron in the water is what the main culprit  for causing the mold on the faucets.... reverse osmosis water filtration may cure that, but that's for another days research... until then, I'll use vinegar.  

So here are 8 things to clean this fall that you might have been forgetting about:

  1. Clean dryer vent
  2. Clean cycle on the washing machine
  3. Clean under the fridge
  4. Wipe down cabinets
  5. Clean cycle on the dishwasher
  6. Clean the oven
  7. Drains in the bathrooms and kitchen
  8. Soak faucets
I hope these are great reminders for you this fall.  It might also be a great time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors if you haven't done that in a while!  Be sure to grab a copy of my Click here to get a copy of the Cleaning Tips for Sports moms Guide! 

If you think of something that's missing from my list, please drop me a comment with your suggestions!

5 Unconventional ways to use Thieves Household Cleaner

5 Unconventional ways to use Thieves Household Cleaner
Thieves Household Cleaner (THHC) is a concentrated plant based cleaner that is what I use for an all purpose cleaner in my home.  The most common application is a 30:1 ratio of water and cleaning solution.
I'm sharing with you 5 unconventional ways, I use THHC at my house to tackle some other jobs around the house!

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